Geraldine Dawson, chief science officer of the nonprofit Autism Speaks, said the move to drop Asperger's as a separate disorder will be felt mostly by parents seeking a first-time diagnosis for their son or daughter.
"There is no reason to re-diagnose a child who already has a diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder, such as autism or Asperger's syndrome," Dawson told HuffPost. "That child will continue to qualify for an autism spectrum disorder."
"I think these changes will really come into play more [for parents] once an electronic medical record requires a specific diagnosis, or if payers require it," said Dr. Matthew Perkins, medical director with the New York State Office of Mental Health's Division of Children and Family Services. Dagnostic changes can be slow to trickle down to all health care providers, particularly because many physicians stick largely to what they initially learned in training, he added.
"Parents should ask about and be aware of their child's particular diagnosis, especially if it will impact insurance reimbursement for services, or determine the eligibility for special education services at school," Meyers echoed.